On The Up

A blues-coun­try com­mu­nion, meet the new sound of Nashville

Total Guitar - - CONTENTS -

ev­ery ounce of cre­ativ­ity that had been build­ing up in my heart and soul came out

John Os­borne is the most ex­cit­ing gui­tarist in coun­try mu­sic right now. Along­side his vo­cal­ist brother TJ, he has spent 10 years carv­ing a niche in Nashville, com­bin­ing rock and clas­sic coun­try in­flu­ences with some light­ning melodic lead work and bag­ging a bunch of awards for 2015 de­but Pawn­shop.

“The sec­ond I learned to play three chords on the gui­tar, I re­alised, ‘This is an open can­vas’” John tells TG. “It was like ev­ery ounce of cre­ativ­ity that had been build­ing up in my heart and soul and mind just came flood­ing out and every­thing changed for me. I dis­tinctly re­mem­ber the mo­ment that my dad taught me the pen­ta­tonic blues scale and af­ter that mo­ment I never looked back.”

The duo cite a li­brary of in­flu­ences, from Wil­lie Nel­son’s open po­lit­i­cal stance – they’ve spo­ken out in favour of gun con­trol and weed among other hot top­ics – to a string of blue­grass and coun­try pick­ing styles through to grunge and South­ern rock. “The one thing that ties it all to­gether is blues,” says John. “The stuff that sticks the most with me is the stuff that has the most heart. I al­ways find my­self go­ing back to that be­cause I think peo­ple feel it.”

Take a lis­ten to the six-minute plus al­bum edit of Shootmes­traight, the lead sin­gle from up­com­ing sec­ond record Port­sain­tjoe, and you’ll hear an ex­hil­a­rat­ing, emo­tive lead player move from Page-y pen­ta­ton­ics, to Prince funk into Bb-style bends. The key to the per­for­mance was record­ing in front of a beer-buzzed crowd of friends and fam­ily on the fi­nal day of record­ing.

“[Our pro­ducer] Jay Joyce was like, ‘This is the time to do it.’ So I played it as if I was per­form­ing live at a gig and that ended up be­ing the take.” says John.

“He wanted that magic per­for­mance and that’s how he got it.”

For­fan­sof ’68 Fender Tele­caster, Black­face Bassman, Blonde Bassman GEAR Cadil­lac Three, A Thou­sand Horses

Blue­grass, grunge and South­ern­rock:the­mul­ti­far­i­ous sound of the Bros Os­borne

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